Author Notes: If my childhood had an official cookie, it would have to be my grandmother's Congo Bars. I'm not sure if my grandmother was the mastermind behind this recipe, but she definitely had a black-belt in baking these gooey gifts to the world. They are like a fudgy brownie in texture and the brown sugar makes them taste caramelly. Even my half-siblings, who only had them a few times when visiting on weekends, still rave about these bars. They are best eaten out of a square-bottomed glass cookie jar, just like Grandma Reilly's. - Abbie C
Makes about 2 dozen bars
- 2/3 cups vegetable shortening
- 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup walnuts (optional)
- 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt the shortening in a large saucepan. Mix in the brown sugar, then cool. Make sure you let this mixture cool or your chocolate chips will melt when you add them to the batter.
- Mix in the eggs.
- Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. The batter will be stiff.
- Mix in chocolate chips, nuts, and vanilla extract. I've added the vanilla when I've added the eggs before and it doesn't make a difference, but Grandma said to add it here.
- Spread batter onto the jellyroll pan and bake for 18 minutes.
- Allow to cool, then cut into square shaped bars.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Walnuts
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Family Recipe